Magnolia Scale – Neolecanium cornuparvum

Magnolia Scale (Neolecanium cornuparvum)

Common Name: Magnolia Scale

Latin Name: Neolecanium cornuparvum


  • The nymphs are dark grey with a reddish brown ridge running down the centre of their back.
  • The adults vary in size and appearance. Males are tiny, like little flies.
  • Females are substantially bigger, with a diameter of around 12 mm.
  • The nymphs range in colour from pink-orange to brown and have a smooth, oval body. When females reach maturity, they frequently coat themselves in a white, waxy powder.

Host plant:

Magnolia scale feeds on magnolia plants. Cucumbertree magnolia, lily magnolia, saucer magnolia, and star magnolia are the plants that the bug prefers. It infects other magnolia kinds, albeit less frequently.


The Magnolia scale, Neolecanium cornuparvum, is a scale insect native to the eastern United States.

Damages caused by Magnolia Scale:

Magnolia scale feeds on Magnolia stellata, Magnolia acuminata, Magnolia liliiflora, and Magnolia soulangeana. Scale insects deplete plant fluids. Infestations limit the yield of the leaves and flowers. Branches and twigs can wither and die. Massive magnolia scale infestations typically turn green twigs crimson. This delicate scale secretes honeydew, which gives the plant an unattractive look; black sooty mould grows on it. Honeydew attracts ants, wasps, yellow jackets, and other pests.

Life history and habits:

Immature nymphs spend the winter on elder twigs. They continue activity in the spring and eat until they reach maturity. From late July until early August, the nymphs achieve adulthood. The nymphs mate once they reach maturity. The males die shortly after. The females locate surrounding hosts and lay eggs on the underside of leaves. This egg-laying cycle lasts from late August through early September. Females die after depositing their eggs. From August through October, the eggs hatch, revealing multitudes of immature nymphs that roam for a brief time before settling down on adjacent vegetation to feed. Nymphs feed on new twigs. As the temperature drops, the nymphs create a protective shell around them and hibernate. The next spring, the nymphs emerge from their shells, restarting the cycle. The Magnolia scale has one generation every year.